Wildlife Sightings


November 5th, 2014 by K. Shanmugakumar

The Kabini Debutant!

One rainy evening at Orange County Resorts – Kabini, I along with 18 other wildlife enthusiasts commenced on our safari into the Nagarhole National Park. As we neared our destination, the incessant rain ceased to beat down upon us and we were gifted with a sliver of beautiful sunlight.

The heavy and unpredictable monsoons this year have rendered the Nagarhole National Park dense and lush with new foliage, and sighting a Big Cat in such weather is nearly impossible. But as is part of my role as a naturalist, I encouraged the guests to scan either side of the path, as well as the treetops. I kept their spirits high by telling them about a few surprise sightings this monsoon on the very road on which we were travelling. All the while, I myself kept hoping for a miracle sighting.

The Big Black Cat Makes It's First Appearance

The Big Black Cat Makes It’s First Appearance

Suddenly, one of the guest – Mr. Abhijit Javeri – drew our attention towards a black form that was making its way up a tree near our vehicle. I directed our driver to halt immediately.
We were all witnessing what was an unprecedented sighting of a Black Leopard (Melanistic Leopard), at Nagarhole National Park, Kabini.

A Black Panthera Pardus

A Black Panthera Pardus

The majestic Black Leopard had a complete black coat and amber eyes. Upon realizing that it was being watched, it took little time in performing a vanishing act. It disappeared into the bushes in no time at all. What an exhilarating experience that was! We all took a few minutes to process this defining event we had just been a part of.

The Black Beauty

The Black Beauty

Thanks to Mr. Parekh, another guest, who managed to capture a few images in those brief 8-9 seconds of this historic encounter. These images will supplicate the indelible memories that are etched in our memory.

The Kabini Debutant!
K. Shanmugakumar
Shanmugakumar belongs to the region of Coonoor in Tamil Nadu. He has completed a post graduate degree in Environmental Sciences from the Bharathiar University. He completed an academic project on Elephant Corridor as part of his degree, focussing specifically on “the status of the Elephant Corridor linking Mukkurthy National Park and the Eastern Ghats”. This project experience inspired him to work for biodiversity and conservation. Shanmugakumar currently works as a Naturalist at Orange County, Kabini.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 5th, 2014 at 4:01 pm and is filed under Big Cat, Carnivore, Nature, Predators, safari. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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